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  1. Hi folks, I'm new to the forum so please excuse any mistakes . My problem is re Incapacity Benefit changeover to ESA Support Group and Occupational Pension. I was medically retired from my job in January 2003 . Sometime between 2001 and 2003 my SSP from work ran out I went onto Incapacity Benefit (based on my Nat Ins contributions), initially short-term and progressed onto the Long-Term higher rate which I was on until Dec 2012 when I was transferred onto ESA Support group (Contribution based). I completed the ESA form and there was no section or questions on that form asking anything about any Income or Pensions, as many of you will know, that form is purely about your health I had previously informed the DWP in writing in 2003 that I had an Occupational Pension. I was awarded the ESA without any Assessment and put into the Support group (Contribution based). From Jan 2003 I began receiving an Occupational Pension from my previous employer . Also in 2003 I claimed DLA and was awarded the highest rate in both Care and Mobility, this was a long term indefinite award. When I claimed the Incapacity Benefit and then began receiving my Occupational Pension , I informed the DWP about the pension in writing and it was never taken into account (to my knowledge) as Income and did not affect my Incapacity Benefit and I never received any correspondence from DWP regarding this pension at any time. The pension in 2003 was around £60 per week and each year it has gone up by approx between £1.50 - £2 per wk. It is now £92 per week. I received a letter this week from DWP stating that from June 2013 I have been overpaid ESA because, I quote, I did not inform them that I had an Occupational Pension and they now want me to pay back nearly £500 so-called over payment. This letter is worded rather accusatory , one section for some obscure reason is in bold print stating ' You are now in a minority of people who have received money you are not entitled to' (!). The facts of the matter are, the DWP have known since 2003 that I have an Occupational Pension, as I informed them at that time and I assumed that when I and many other people were transferred onto ESA, it would still be the DWP dept that dealt with it, they would have records of my previous Incapacity Benefit claim and they would therefore KNOW already that I was receiving an Occupational Pension !. I realise that I am not covered under the DWP's Transitional Protection rule as my Incapacity Benefit claim began AFTER April 2001. But I have been reading up on this and think that I should still be 'exempt' from having my pension taken into account under PENSION DISREGARDS PRIOR TO ESA CONVERSION , where section 45465 states (1) If the claimant was entitled to Incapacity Benefit immediately before conversion (2) Incapacity Benefit was not reduced by pension because (2.1) Claimant got DLA Care at the highest rate (which I did). I am not positive about this and I also would have thought that DWP staff themselves would already be aware of this (but nothing they do surprises me). To add insult to injury, they want me to pay an extra £50 CIVIL PENALTY because they have decided that I was overpaid because I Negligently made an incorrect statement (WHEN !) or representation of information about my claim without reasonable excuse without taking steps to correct it !'. That's total nonsense as they have known for 14 years that I have a pension, they have never communicated with me about it in all that time or asked me to provide any info. It's unbelievable. It seems to me that SOMEONE at DWP has obviously 'discovered ' the pension info recently and I am expected to pay for their oversight/incompetence. Sorry this is so long-winded, I need to know if I am correct and I AM exempt before I type a letter to DWP stating my case and asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration stating that I believed I am exempt due to the fact that prior to the changeover to ESA I was in receipt of DLA Care at the highest rate . So PLEASE, if anyone can advise me on this I would eternally grateful. Thankyou in advance, Vix.
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